Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Warsaw to Radom railway works start soon (to Piaseczno at least)

It's been a long time coming - though the contract with the contractor has just been signed and work's due to start within a month - there've been many false dawns since the plans for modernising Line 8 (Warsaw-Radom) were first published over five years ago. It was meant to have been ready this year (in April 2010 I wrote these words: "When will this all happen? According to the PLK website, "work will ... be completed in 2015"). As it happens, if we're lucky, work will start this year.

Today's Gazeta Stołeczna carries the story of the plans. There's good news for those living in Warsaw's southern suburbs and exurbs - by the spring of 2017, the railway will have been modernised all the way from W-wa Okęcie to Czachówek (27km). The SKM (Szybka Kolej Miejska - the railway line operated by the City of Warsaw) will then run to Piaseczno, as it does today to exurbs like Sulejówek Miłosna, Otwock, Pruszków or Wieliszew.

Not only should this double the number of trains between W-wa Jeziorki to town from two to four in peak hours and from one to two outside of them, but the track improvements will mean that the trains will be able to speed up to 160km/h from the 60 to 80km/h they are restricted to at the moment.

To facilitate this, the island platforms currently in use at W-wa Okęcie, W-wa Dawidy, W-wa Jeziorki and Nowa Iwiczna will be removed, the tracks straightened to run parallel between two platforms, one on either side of the two tracks. The existence of the coal line between Okęcie and Nowa Iwiczna will make things more difficult, as the 'up' platform (to town) will have to nestle between the coal train line and the 'up' main line.

Below: looking towards W-wa Jeziorki station. The 'up' line swings round to the left to skirt the island platform, slowing down trains.

And more good news - the level crossing at W-wa Jeziorki will be replaced by a viaduct for ul. Karczunkowska over the railway line. However, no viaduct carrying ul. Baletowa is now planned (the press release issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development mentioned only the one at Jeziorki).

Bad news further down the line - no additional stations are planned - neither for the Cargo Terminal/W-wa Poleczki where new logistics and office developments are bringing in thousands of new workers to the area, nor for Mysiadło with its new housing developments  and no public transport links nor for Stara Iwiczna and Piaseczno's northern edge. The Park+Ride planned for W-wa Jeziorki is on the cards (built by Warsaw city hall), as is a massive car park for 400 cars at Piaseczno station, currently in remont. Piaseczno station is being redeveloped by the local authority there.

There are still question marks over where the SKM trains from Piaseczno via W-wa Jeziorki will end up going in town. They could go via W-wa  Śródmieście, as Koleje Mazowieckie trains from Piaseczno do today; they could terminate at W-wa Główny - currently the site of the Polish national railway museum, or they could swing round before W-wa Zachodnia and circumnavigate central Warsaw via Wola and W-wa Gdańska, crossing Most Gdański bridge before reaching W-wa Zoo then swinging north towards Legionowo.

All this work has been on the cards since 2007, and over that time the condition of the track has continually degraded. I mentioned the state of the track-bed between W-wa Dawidy and W-wa Jeziorki before; only a minority of the sleepers are in sound condition. Many are rotted or burnt. Below: the middle sleeper is in effect useless, being unconnected to the rail in any way.

For folk living south of Czachówek, the news is not good; the tenders to modernise the line from Czachówek from Warka and from Warka to Radom will not be announced until next summer. The line from Warka - including the river crossing over the Pilica - is currently single-track and will need to be to doubled up - which means a new bridge. We read today that Radom and Warsaw will not be linked by modern railway until 2020 at the very earliest.

Until then, there will be several years of delays caused by works on the line, causing passengers to go by road. This blog will be following developments as they happen.

This time two years ago:
In praise of the (Polish-built) Fiat 500 

This time three years ago:
Llanbedrog Beach and a farewell to North Wales

This time four years ago:
To the Polish seaside, by night train

This time five years ago:
Accounting for the past - 20 years on from PRL's fall

This time six years ago:
An introduction to fine British cheefef

This time eight years ago:
Over the Peaks by bus

1 comment:

AndrzejK said...

Once the whole line is modernised it will make Radom Internation Airport totally redundant. Maybe it should be renamed the Jarosław Kaczyńki PiS Memorial Airport!!!